Albion College
Mathematics and Computer Science
PRODUCT WARNING: Scratch is highly engaging and contagious
George Stockman


Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Michigan State University

Scratch is a visual programming environment that makes programming accessible to kids 10 years old and up. Sprites are objects that have color, shape, etc. and can be moved about on a stage by programming coordinate locations. Moreover, sprites can make sounds, can change costume, and can have their behavior timed by messages sent by other sprites. Scratch provides menus of explicit commands and control structures that the programmer (script writer) uses to create a program or behavior. Creating a script is "lego-like" so the programmer has a visual guide to the language components. Programming is thus drag-and-drop and filling in parameters, such as the number of times to repeat a loop. Scratch has a rich set of sprites, sounds, backgrounds, and example games, stories, and simulations for "plug-and-play". It has been used in CS1 at Harvard to introduce students to programming and multimedia. It has also become a common topic in tech camps for kids, as it has been at ITEC-Lansing.

Those with laptops can download Scratch from and bring it to the talk to work along with the speaker.
3:10 pm
All are welcome!
Palenske 227
April 8, 2010